Trump Says He Never Directed Michael Cohen to Break the Law

"Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did-including the fact that his family was temporarily let off the hook", he wrote on his favorite social media platform.

"He knows the truth".

Perhaps the biggest bombshell was his answer to George Stephanopoulos asking, "The special counsel did say that you are doing your best to tell the truth about everything related to the investigation, everything related to Russian Federation. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds".

In a separate case, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his work on a possible Trump real estate project in Moscow and said he did so to be consistent with Trump's "political messaging".

The lawyer said that Trump had been "very concerned" about how the allegations of affairs would "affect the election" if they were to go public.

In recent weeks, Trump has shifted to asserting it was a private transactions that wasn't illegal. Cohen has said he is continuing to co-operate with investigators in the Russian Federation probe, which the president has repeatedly called a "witch hunt". "He is a lawyer".

District Judge William H Pauley III rejected arguments by Cohen's lawyers that he should be spared jail because he cooperated in multiple federal investigations involving Mr Trump. "That is why they get paid", he tweeted.

Cohen told ABC that's wrong.

Cohen was sentenced after telling a federal judge that his "blind loyalty" to Trump led him to "cover up his dirty deeds".

He said that in the Trump Organization, nothing was ever done "unless it was run through Mr. Trump".

In this case, it could give investigators access to records and communications between Trump and Cohen that were deemed confidential after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen's office earlier this year, Rodgers said.

The advice-of-counsel defense is "for a client who says, 'I want to make sure I'm in compliance with the law here, '" Rodgers said. But on Sunday incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerold Nadler of NY said if Trump directed Cohen to commit a felony, it would be an impeachable offense.

In a NY court on Wednesday Cohen lashed out at his former boss. But he said Trump wanted to hide the alleged affairs to protect his election chances.

Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, attended the sentencing and told reporters outside the courthouse, "Michael Cohen is neither a hero nor a patriot". That would have meant it appeared on the heels of the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump talks about sexually assaulting women.

"It's a very risky strategy", said Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan.

AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, has signed a non-prosecution agreement and admitted that it was involved in a "concerted" effort with Cohen to buy the exclusive rights to McDougal's story for $150,000.

Also in the GMA interview, Cohen said that he no longer recognizes Trump - whom he worked with for more than a decade. Trump has denied the affairs and any involvement in the payments.

Cohen pleads guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges, saying he and Trump arranged the payments of hush money to Daniels and McDougal to influence the election.

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Trump denied the payments were campaign contributions.

For years, Michael Cohen described himself as being staunchly loyal to President Trump, going as far as saying that he would "take a bullet" for him.

Politically, Trump's shifting claims could harm his credibility with voters, but legally they may not make much of a difference. These are the people whom Mueller - and the American people - will need to call on to reveal the truth about our President.

Reiterating something he said in court Wednesday, Cohen said he feels unburdened by acknowledging what he did for Trump.

  • Jacqueline Ellis